Cash or gift-cards, what most people see is that “ITS FREE MONEY AFTERALL.”

That is true! Getting rewards from filling out online surveys is interesting. Most users don’t bother whether they will be receiving cash, gift card, or just entering into a draw. However, its always good to keep in mind the downsides of different payment methods.

Laying it on the line, there is no right or wrong way. A Number of different payment methods are being presently used. Sites like Swagbucks offer different ways you can redeem your rewards. Many other websites, like MyPoints, only typically work on a point system.

One way or another, one thing you should absolutely ensure beforehand is the authenticity of the site you will be surveying for. Whether they promise you cash or points for gift cards, they must be reliable.

Surveyor commented on Reddit:

‘A long time ago I was signed up with one of those survey sites that “paid” you for each survey. I saw my balance go up for each survey I took.

However, the catch was that I could only take surveys that they sent to me and I could only cash out after a certain limit – I think it was $20 bucks or so. Once I reached around $17-18, the surveys stopped coming and I never got any money.”

Who doesn’t like Cash?

It is safest, it is versatile and it is very attractive. Getting a cash payment as a reward is catchy for many. The good side is, you are free to use it any way you like. Its LIMITLESS (not in amount though!), you can spend the money on anything you like: pay off your loans, rent, get the accessories you had your eyes on, and whatnot.

DISCLAIMER: YOU CAN’T WORK FROM HOME.

Cash is convenient. After it has been redeemed successfully, you can spend or save it. There is also no third party involved so cash offers are more transparent. They are also safer: its hardly like you will lose the cash in your hands but there are always chances of losing track of online gift-card codes, digital pre-paid credit cards, etc.

What is the downside here? Cash offers are not made by many websites. Also, the PayPal account, which is mostly needed to redeem the cash, isn’t available widely. The online account may require you to reach a threshold money-withdrawal value. You can only cash out money when you have at least accumulated $20. 

If a surveyor is offering cash, it is always healthy to check thoroughly how you will redeem it. In some cases, a typical 1-3% fee is charged at the time of money withdrawal. It’s not uncommon for users to be a little greedy: If you are working for $30, nobody would really settle for $25 in the end.

Did You Know? Incentive Research Foundation (2016) says: 53% UK based organizations prefer giving non-cash rewards.

Authenticity of different websites paying for surveys can be thoroughly checked by going through the user’s review. For example, double d12 on Reddit acknowledges Vindale for paying out fast I think vindale is the best! I get a lot of surveys some i can take 5 times a day.. You even get $2 for joining”

FloydMCD also made sure to give the readers a reality check, “good luck. don’t expect anything crazy but it’s def a good way to make so called “beer money””

Should you Prefer Gift-Cards over Cash?

The answer to this depends on what you are looking for. Don’t be disappointed if no website is offering to give you a gift card that pays off your rents. Gift-cards are personalized and in this way, their use-fullness is limited too.

Maybe No?

Mostly, gift-cards can only be redeemed with specific retailers. This is a problem when you only shop at specific places or have specific interests. How interesting would you be in filling out a survey that would get you sports item on discount at Amazon, and you are not the best athlete around.

As a solution, there are a number of platforms or conversion websites that offer to change your gift card to an equivalent cash amount. However, there is always some loss of value in doing so.

Maybe Yes!

Don’t be too disheartened with that gift-card in your hand. It’s always possible to make good use of them at Amazon or Target. You can also consider re-gifting your card. Redeeming them also almost always comes free of cost. 95% of customers worldwide consider gift-cards a better alternative to other non-cash rewards.

The good-sides that actually brought gift-cards to limelight were how user- friendly they are. There is no age limit. Mostly websites that are offering gift-cards keep their survey open to kids too. Cash withdrawals and use of pre-paid credit cards are limited to users of a certain age (Users who can actually own a bank account!)

Fun-fact: Neiman Marcus was the first to commercialize gift cards. Blockbuster displayed them for the first time in 1994.
In a general face to face survey carried out by Incentive Foundation, ¾ respondents said they will request for a gift-card instead of money if provided with an option.

An interesting catch about gift cards is: they are bound to be entertaining and memorable. You might be inclined to spend your money to get rid of pending dues. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good! In the long run, you will not remember what your reward actually was.

Now consider that the TV in your lounge was possible due to a discount card. Since you could only spend the card buying something entertaining; that is something anyone would remember. This a better way to keep users engaged. The positive word-of-mouth also has a far-reaching impact. Anyone who finds out how a certain gadget or accessory was bought would automatically be inclined towards trying the survey themselves.

Vice President for Rewards for Discover remarks “You may not realise it, but your card may enable you to pay for part or all of your online purchase with your rewards, helping you save money and make the most of your rewards where you frequently shop”

Here’s something that would be an EXTRA cherry on the top for you.  Sometimes points that are worth $10 in cash can be used to redeem a gift card that carries $20 value. This card can then be used with a single finger swipe to buy things online.

A Third-answer: Sweepstakes Entries

Sweepstakes entries are kind of a lucky-draw. If the first impression that came to your mind was: DOES THAT MEAN YOU CAN END UP NOT WINNING ANYTHING AT ALL? You are absolutely right.

The rewards from sweepstakes entries have been molded over time. Some surveyors offer that you bid your existing points to win more points. Sometimes you can aim at winning pots of big prizes using remarkably fewer points. It’s purely a game of luck!

Sweepstakes entries are famous for their thrill elements. You can win an item of significantly high value, or you lose the points you have gathered through time altogether. Larger number of audience takes part in these lucky draws for a good game as compared to actually getting something out of it.

However, the chances of winning through a draw are obviously low. They decrease further down when more and more people participate. There are thin chances that many of your points will be wasted!

“At least it will be somebody’s lucky day somewhere!” said the ignorant ones. Transparency with sweepstakes entries is very low. A website may never actually pick out a winner. If they just give out a random name, no one would do the scrutiny whether the promised delivery was made or not.

“I think sweepstakes are great but only if you’re lucky enough to win. I’ve never won anything despite entering them on an almost regular basis. At least they’re usually free! The only thing you’re losing is time I guess.

The most I’ve ever won is points on InboxDollars which can only really be used to enter more sweepstakes so that doesn’t really even count.”  one loyal user commented on Reddit.

In a nutshell, sweepstake entries have been down-sized to the impression of “pie- in- the- sky” and “far-easy- to- fake” by many users.

Pre-paid Credit Cards

Pre-paid gift cards, whether in physical or digital form, are very handy. They work just like any other credit card.  Conversely, any platform that accepts Mastercard or Visa card payment will also accept transactions made through pre-paid credit cards.

Prepaid credit cards can be used in one of two ways: you can enter the card information on the online page where you want to make use of it. Conventionally, you can also request the physical form of the card be delivered to you. Card delivery, however, might pitch extra charges. So you will be spending some money to get the money!

One common problem with pre-paid credit card is, you should focus on spending the whole value at once. Otherwise, you might be wasting a little credit (Just like Ali has).

The use of such credit cards also has an age-limit. So to say, this is not a very attractive alternative for kids. You need to set up your card by logging into Visa or MasterCard website.

In a Nutshell

Surveyors keep coming up with more and more catchy ways to make sure that the users stay hooked. Different ways of rewards can be attractive to different groups of people. But everyone is interested in winning something especially if they have some spare time on their hands. Therefore, there really isn’t a right or wrong way.

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